Joe Jellybean Bryant in the Laker Fold

July, 12, 2005
7/12/05
5:27
PM ET
Did you notice that Mike Bibby's dad, Henry Bibby--who is the head coach of the Los Angeles Sparks--has hired Kobe Bryant's dad Joe as an assistant coach?

One thing Bibby and Bryant will be able to talk about: sons who won't talk to them. At various times it has been reported that both have had major fall-outs with their famous children.

"We are excited to have another Bryant involved in the Lakers/Sparks organization," Lakers owner Dr. Jerry Buss said Monday in a statement. "Joe is a good guy with a sound basketball mind."


Interesting that Dr. Buss brought up the whole "Lakers/Sparks" thing. Makes you think the hire might have something to do with Laker Kobe Bryant. Some ideas: maybe Kobe Bryant asked the team to give his dad a job. Or maybe the Lakers wanted to have another familiar face around help Kobe Bryant stay on his best behavior.

I wonder if Joe Jellybean will be hanging around Laker practices. And I wonder if Bryant has read Phil Jackson's book. Kobe wasn't the only one to take some heat from the coach.

Jackson writes:
I can understand a player's desire to expand his role. But too often they see themselves only through their own narrow lens, imagining greatness that simply does not exist. Joe "Jellybean" Bryant, Kobe's father, once said that his game was as good as Magic Johnson's, but "they won't let me play that kind of game." Jellybean was a good player, but he was no Magic.


Especially now that he's returning to the Lakers, that book is going to keep biting Phil Jackson in the butt. He's going to be dealing with mildly resentful and suspicious coworkers day in and day out.

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